“One Year Bible” New Testament Passage
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:23-26 (NKJV)
There are two dimensions of God’s character that are extremely difficult to bring together in many people’s minds. They are the HOLINESS of God and the LOVE of God. In our day, people seem to prefer the LOVE of God at the expense of the HOLINESS of God.
The Holiness of God says that He is absolutely pure and cannot even look upon evil. It is in this sense that the Scripture says that “our God is a consuming fire” (Dt. 4:24; Heb. 12:29). He is the epitome of good and justice and righteousness and virtue. For evil to exist for one second in His presence would require that it either be burnt up or that He compromise.
Yet, this Holy God is full of compassion, full of affection for His creation. He is essentially a God of love. Therefore GOD HAS A DILEMMA. He has a big “problem”. How can He uphold His holiness while at the same time forgiving sinful men? Not only does man have a problem, God is faced with that which seems impossible to accomplish: accepting rank, foul, depraved sinners while maintaining His justice.
I must add here that we (all of us) flee from the thought of how truly vile we are. We soften our offense to God by saying that we really aren’t all that bad. We may have problems, but we are not hopelessly polluted. The truth is that WE ARE GUILTY and there is absolutely nothing we (in ourselves) can do to erase our guilt.
If there is to be any help, God must take the initiative. AND HE DID! He has Himself provided “propitiation”. That’s a big word meaning satisfaction of justice. He stepped in Himself to absorb fully the penalty. Therefore, He can be both JUST and the JUSTIFIER. Amazing grace! He has made a way when there was no way, and we are set free!